The Image Counsellor

Small Talk

Posted on: January 19, 2009

three20people20talkingBeing in Toastmasters allows me to network with people from various backgrounds. Not only do we learn about public speaking it also allows us to train on our social skills such as coming up with making simple conversation. It does get akward when 2 strangers meet and has “nothing” to talk about. So  here are some ways to practise “small talk”.

The most important thing about starting a conversation is to be as natural and relaxed as possible. If you seem nervous or uncomfortable, it is likely that you will make the other person feel the same way, and that the conversation will either fall flat. So, take a deep breath before approaching the person and make sure that you have something to talk about. The best two topics to open a conversation with are the present situation and something regarding the person that you are approaching.

For instance, at Toastmasters we would introduce ourselves and ask, “How did you get to know about our club?” . This would kick start the converastion and offer us more opportunities to market our club activities.

A possible conversation at an academic or professional setting, ” That was a great presentation. How did you manage to come up with those ideas? Would you like to share with us more on xxx points?”

Sometimes at work I would make comments on the books or things that customers are holding: Wow. I see that you are reading a book on Geomancy. How long have you been into it?” When you are striking such a conversation, it might be to your advantage if you possess some knowledge on the topic. Alternatively, just keep asking questions so as to allow the other party to share more. Be patient and look interested while listening.

Make an effort to ask open-ended questions so as to create a longer conversation. If they offer a Yes or No answer, probably he is not in the mood to talk. It’s about making 2 minds meet and it’s a life long skill. All the best picking up a conversation!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

January 2009
« Dec   Feb »
%d bloggers like this: